Marquita is an extroverted mom of 2, who loves connecting with people. Keep reading to learn how Marquita has followed her passion, devoted herself to her family and launched an amazing business.
Q: Why did you become an Entrepreneur?
A: I toyed with the idea of creating my own skin care line in 2012. I did all the research, found the vendors but never took action. In 2014 I became pregnant with my son, and my husband and I decided I would stay at home. When I told my coworkers, no one believed me because I am always juggling multiple ideas at once! I had complications during my pregnancy and was placed on bedrest. During that slow season of life, I thought about what I wanted in a business. I decided to become a retailer instead of a brand founder (although I did launch my own skin care line briefly.) Becoming a retailer offered me personal freedom and time for my family.
Q: Tell us about your business.
A: Gusto and Co. is an e-tail shop for modern beauty and wellness. We feature skin care, body care and wellness products from multiple independent brands. It is named after my son Augustus. Gusto means “enjoyment or vigor in doing something; zest”.
After rebranding in 2019, I decided to offer products to help my clients create routines and develop rhythms in their lives. In addition to selling emerging indie beauty, we also offer guided journals, oracle cards, and books on meditation and healthy, mindful, living.
Q: What is your personal mission, or your big why?
A: I want to create a sustainable and generational business. With this relaunch I will become a carbon neutral company and I do my best to carry brands that choose ingredients and implement practices with the least impact to the environment. I also want my children to be exposed to and participate in growing a business.
Q: How do you integrate work and home?
A: I’m a firm believer in building routines and rhythms. My routine has me waking up at 5 AM. I tackle some of my business tasks that require more focus during this quiet, morning time. Then I try to exercise and get in some quality time with my husband over tea and coffee before the kids wake up. I work off and on around my family throughout the day by automating as many tasks as possible. When the school year starts, I’m sure some of this will change and we will have to find new rhythms. It’s important to be flexible and adaptable.
Q: What has been your biggest lesson to date as a business owner?
A: Take the risk!
I typically take small, calculated, risks because I have an insurance and finance background…and also because I let my ego get in the way. When I first started approaching brands for Gusto and Co., I feared looking foolish because I had no idea what I was doing. Why would any brand listen to me with all the bigger retail players in the field?
At the end of the day, you just never know who will give you the yes. I have had small brands ignore me and I have had larger brands say yes. The first brand I worked with, Deciem, was already in Target when I approached them and they still said yes! They went on to being in Sephora and acquired by Estee Lauder.
Q: Do you have any wisdom to share with your fellow mompreneurs?
A: Map out a plan and take action. Things won’t be perfect. The good news is you will continue to grow and evolve in your business. There is room for everyone no matter the type of business you have. Just like there are multiple clothing stores, each with their own unique take on how to perfectly outfit an individual, there are multiple consumers and your ideal customer is out there; you just have to find them! And it’s possible that they may already be looking for you.